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Protected Hexes

Flari-Merchant
What about allowing core 6 hexes, without the potential to be "protected hexes", to have 3 Outposts? Honestly it does look like the worst of these cases do have a more difficult time getting enough hexes for Bulk in comparison…
Decius
"Core 6" doesn't have any special meaning except when engaged in existential battles, and then all six need be lost for a seige to start. The worst-case listed so far is Talongaurd, but if they are allied with their neighbor than that last hex is probably going to be prohibitively hard to crack.

The most vulnerable settlement I see right now is High Road, which regardless of how many allies and holdings it has can be surrounded in six weeks by capturing eight specific hexes. (Two per week in the first two weeks).

I wasn't very rigorous about the search, but it seems reasonable that after losing most major battles for over a month a swigs could start.
Bob
On the positive side, all settlements are gaining the ability to protect at least some of their core 6 hexes, where currently their core 6 always run their PvP windows as scheduled. Some get the ability to protect those 6 more than others, some get the ability to build deeper layers than others, but all gain at least some ability to add 1 or more layers of protection.

When push comes to shove, it's nigh-impossible for us to truly balance all the settlement locations relative to each other. Some will turn out to be near multiple home hexes, for good or ill. Others might be near extremely rare gathering materials, or have better access to efficient, self-sustaining bulk resource production. Hopefully the various advantages and disadvantages all balance out to a certain extent, and hopefully even things that seem like a real problem to one group of players aren't as problematic for another group of players. For example, a settlement that enjoys PvP and can regularly field a significant force won't mind that its core 6 run PvP windows more often, both because they actually enjoy the resulting PvP and because their real defense is their player base rather than the layering of defenses. A company that likes PvE will value having a settlement near more monster/home hexes, while another that's all about controlling territory won't want so many unclaimable hexes nearby. If another settlement location serves your needs better, then take it. Ultimately, that's the biggest balancing lever we have. The more valuable a particular settlement location is, according to whatever the community currently values, the more that location will be prone to attack, balancing out its overall value.

All that said, we don't want to introduce anything that truly breaks a subset of settlements. If there were any settlements that literally couldn't layer their defenses at all, then I'd be truly worried.

Fiery
The weakest I've seen is Mediash, which would require 3 weeks, taking 4 hexes in the first week.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
It seems like the problem of balance is not that everything needs to be egalitarian per se. The thing is, for any disadvantages some settlements have because of this do they get other advantages to compensate? If so then this may not be as big an issue but if not then it is simply unfair and no one except maybe the most loyal players (namely us) would stand for it once the full effects hit home.

It is akin to artificial difficulty due to settlements being artifically imbalanced. Few people enjoy that sort of thing. There are no compensations for the wekanesses and the weaknesses themselves seem pretty severe. I would think just moving or removing some of those shield hexes would do the trick for now. Maybe that is planned for the future, I dunno.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of the Kathalpas Coalition and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Bob
Paddy Fitzpatrick
The thing is, for any disadvantages some settlements have because of this do they get other advantages to compensate?

It's hard to judge, because the compensating advantages might come from totally different features. Perhaps those settlements already have certain advantages, and the fact that they don't get as much benefit from this feature as some other settlements do actually makes things more balanced. Or perhaps another scheduled feature will benefit them more than others. What we're shooting for is to make sure that everyone gets at least some positive advantage out of this change (everyone can do some layering) and nobody gets too much positive advantage (like a permanently-defensible position). Our focus is on making any fixes needed to avoid those extremes.

Ultimately, we want every settlement location to be valuable to somebody, for no locations to be so inherently valuable that nothing else is worth bothering with, and for different locations to be valued differently by varying groups of players. If there are locations that truly offer no worthwhile advantages to anyone, then we'll need to revisit those, but I'm not aware of any locations that are that problematic at the moment (aside from some well-known raw material distribution issues, which I'll be fiddling with a bit for EE 13).
Bob
Paddy Fitzpatrick
I would think just moving or removing some of those shield hexes would do the trick for now. Maybe that is planned for the future, I dunno.

There's nothing on the roadmap yet, but one of the longer-term plans was always to make these roads more useful. That, and other possible features, could very well make being near these roads worthwhile and compensate for any disadvantages to being near them.
Midnight
For the average new player, if a settlement sucks in defense (whether from geography or turnout), they'll leave when the fail cascade starts. The average player is welcome in any settlement on the map, so leaving is always an option.

The only people who have any business screaming about fairness might be the settlement owner who would lose power they once held, but while I appreciate you folks made elaborate plans in landrush, you truly were simply handed settlements in a popularity contest, and have had 17 months to enjoy that power unchallenged. I think you got your money's worth, and since I deem PFO to be a builder game, I suspect most of you will continue to rule for as long as the lights stay on.

Most of the inactive settlement captures were cakewalks, so I think new folks got their money's worth in just getting a chance to lead unchallenged for months, especially since all of the captures were made or supported by existing settlements, without one single settlement captured by an unaffiliated company with the 23/7 PvP window that would have resulted from being unaffiliated.

Fairness is nice, but settlement leadership is POWER, and it is a power that simply wasn't realistically available to 98% of the people who have played the game. So I'm not going to cry if all settlements aren't equal. Even if your settlement collapses THIS MONTH, you had a damn good run and an opportunity that 98% of folks never had.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Midnight
For the average new player, if a settlement sucks in defense (whether from geography or turnout), they'll leave when the fail cascade starts. The average player is welcome in any settlement on the map, so leaving is always an option.

The only people who have any business screaming about fairness might be the settlement owner who would lose power they once held, but while I appreciate you folks made elaborate plans in landrush, you truly were simply handed settlements in a popularity contest, and have had 17 months to enjoy that power unchallenged. I think you got your money's worth, and since I deem PFO to be a builder game, I suspect most of you will continue to rule for as long as the lights stay on.

Most of the inactive settlement captures were cakewalks, so I think new folks got their money's worth in just getting a chance to lead unchallenged for months, especially since all of the captures were made or supported by existing settlements, without one single settlement captured by an unaffiliated company (with the 23/7 PvP window that would have resulted from being unaffiliated).

Fairness is nice, but settlement leadership is POWER, and it is a power that simply wasn't realistically available to 98% of the people who have played the game. So I'm not going to cry if all settlements aren't equal. Even if your settlement collapses THIS MONTH, you had a damn good run and an opportunity that 98% of folks never had.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
Fiery
I mean, I think the lack of consistency is a problem if it's not deliberate, and I have no concerns about the defensibility of the settlements I'm a part of, mechanically or otherwise. It's fallacious to argue that people's arguments are wrong because they would personally benefit from it. In fact, we are going from a situation where power, as you put it midnight, was the determinant in defense, to a system where some settlements have egregiously less mechanical defense. That's an issue. How soon does it need to be changed? I can't say. The roadmap has a lot of very important stuff on it, and we likely need to accept a certain degree of unbalance and imperfection to stay on track. As long as we recognize it as a problem and resolve to make adjustments at some later date, it's probably not that bad. Not acknowledging the problem would be.

As Duffy put it, fairness and equality are mutually-exclusive…but what is the trade-off that makes it unequal but fair?
 
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